Thursday, 27 August 2009

Google Docs Gets Translation

Google Docs introduced a great new feature today, the ability to translate documents (not available for Presentations or Spreadsheets) into 42 different languages. It uses Google Translate's technology and is very easy to use; just click Tools -->Translate, select the language, and your document is instantly translated with all of the original formatting. I gave this a few tries and it seemed to work fine, although comments on other sites about this feature said there were problems. This could be very useful in the education field, especially in colleges/universities where the student body is very multicultural. I will be definitely giving this feature a try in the upcoming semester. 

Today's blog post In English...

and now in French

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Collaborative Photo Albums Comes to Picasa Web

I use Picasa for most of my photo managing/editing, and as mentioned in a earlier post, I use picasa web albums to backup my photos to the cloud. Besides acting as a backup location, web albums offers other great features such as the ability to share whole photo albums, order prints, and view other photos from around the world. The latest feature added last week is quite impressive: multiple users can collaborate on a single photo album. Imagine taking a trip to LA with a friend, instead of creating two separate albums by two separate users stored in two separate locations (on the web), a single album stored in a single location (on the web) can be created and both users can add photos to it. This could work very well in the classroom. For example, a group of students that completed a field trip could create a single photo album with captions and geotagging. Each one could add their favorite photos to the album. This is truly a great feature and expect the social networks to adopt it soon. 

Visit here for details of this feature. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Two Great Taskbar Apps for XP

    For the past two weeks I have been on vacation (hence the lack of blog posts). During this time I helped my brother purchase a new Windows Vista laptop. My experience with Vista had been limited, and I had a very negative attitude towards it which partially came from the abundant negative news on tech websites. This changed when I helped my brother with his new laptop. I liked the sleekness of the Vista OS, the security, and the taskbar thumbnail preview which gives a thumbnail preview of a taskbar item when the mouse is hovered over it. This led to me thinking very hard (smoke came out of my ears) about whether I should install Vista on my work computer. After hours of thought, I decided against the installation since Windows 7 is coming out soon and I didn't see the point of learning two OS's in less than 6 months. So, I decided to do a search for  "Windows XP Taskbar preview", and I came across a simple program called Visual Task Tips. After about two minutes for the download/install, I had thumbnail previews, which is the feature I wanted most from Vista!! 

    The other taskbar feature that I wanted and wasn't sure if it existed is the ability to change the location of taskbar buttons, for some reason I love having my important programs such as the browser or photo editor located to the far right. It would be neat if I could rearrange programs instead of having them appear in the order that they were opened. This lead to another Google Search, and I came across Taskbar Shuffle. This is again a simple, easy to install program. Within 2 minutes I could rearrange my taskbar buttons. Life is good.

  Thumbnail Preview